1,200 fewer accidents in 2018

Wednesday 6 February 2019
The number of accidents on IM roads fell by 4% in 2018. IM recovery operators were called out to 25,545 accidents, as compared with a total of 26,726 in 2017. This is the first fall since 2013 when Stichting IMN dealt with 20,760 accidents. This downturn was reflected almost across the entire country. The number of accidents rose slightly only on the IM roads in the Provinces of Gelderland and Limburg.

Mario Snoek, Bart Vens, Richard Kok en Rowen van der Doel van Vermaat Autoberging

Vermaat Autoberging was one of the IM recovery operators that observed a downturn in 2018 in the number of accidents in its operating area on the Islands of Zuid-Holland. From left to right: Mario Snoek, Bart Vens, Richard Kok and Rowen van der Doel

The fall in the number of accidents can to a large extent be attributed to the good weather in 2018. During the first six months of the year, the number of accidents was in fact equal to the figure for 2017. The fall was concentrated in the months July through to December. In 2018, these months were exceptionally dry. On average just 284 mm of rainfall was recorded across the entire country, less than half of the figure for 2017. It is a well-known fact that on rainy days there are more accidents than on dry days.

Accidents and precipitation 2017 - 2018

2018 2017 Difference
January - JuneAccidents12.30612.421-1% 
July - DecemberAccidents13.23914.305-7% 

The total number of orders issued in 2018 by the National Centre Reporting Point (LCM) of Stichting IMN to IM recovery operators rose considerably. Recovery operators carried out more breakdown removals, and were called out on more occasions to secure incident locations. As a result, the total number of IM callouts in 2018 amounted to 122,034, 18% higher than in 2017 and four times as many as in 2005.

Accidents 2010 - 2018

This rise was above all caused by the large number of breakdown removals which at 64,217 was more than a quarter higher than in 2017. These high numbers were partially due to the repeated application of the heat protocol during the hot summer. When the heat protocol is in force, Rijkswaterstaat aims to have all broken-down vehicles removed from the road. In other months, too, however, IM recovery operators were called out more frequently to remove broken-down vehicles from the road, and to secure the accident location so that breakdown assistance can be provided safely.

IM orders in 2018

Type order 2018 2017 Growth
Breakdown removal64.21750.82226% 
Unattended vehicle2.6962.5247% 
Wasted trip25.47721.02421% 
Main road network106.82489.41419% 
Underlying road network15.21013.77010% 
ANWB/Control centre22.20516.66433% 

The number of security orders undertaken by recovery operators in 2018 was almost twice as high as in the previous year. Above all during the second and third quarters, recovery operators were regularly called out to secure their own work: on average 400 times a month. In the fourth quarter the figure fell to 300.

IM orders 2010 - 2018

The growth in the number of IM orders was entirely attributable to the rise in the number of reports by Rijkswaterstaat and the ANWB. The number of police reports fell. This fall related to the fact that some police control rooms no longer pass on their incident reports directly to the LCM, but to the Traffic Control Centre of Rijkswaterstaat. The Traffic Control Centre then calls the LCM.

The number of Flitsmeister reports also fell. In March 2018, Stichting IMN decided to halt the trial involving the use of online reports by Flitsmeister users. These reports did result in an average time saving of six minutes as compared with reports of the same accidents from one of the conventional sources. However, there were too many occasions on which recovery operators were required to dispatch a road inspector for nothing. Almost 60% of the reports turned out to be false alarms. Stichting IMN will be carrying out a new trial this year. In this trial, Flitsmeister reports will first be validated according to the latest information about the speed of road users in the vicinity of the report. Only if those data confirm the accident report will the report be accepted and passed on to a recovery operator.

Mike Lourens of Takel-, Bergings- en Transportbedrijf A. Barendregt

Mike Lourens of Takel-, Bergings- en Transportbedrijf A. Barendregt was responsible for the first IM recovery operation in 2019.

The last IM report in 2018 was issued to BCU in Utrecht, at 17 minutes before midnight on 31 December. The order involved a breakdown removal on the A12 motorway at Bodegraven. The new IM recovery year started just twenty minutes later, on the A29, where Mike Lourens of Takel-, Bergings- en Transportbedrijf A. Barendregt arrived at an accident near Klaaswaal, at 3 minutes past midnight.

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